Monday, September 28, 2015

All Our Empty Places--Review and a Giveaway!



The sequel to The Fragrance of Geraniums . . . 

 Book Two in the “A Time of Grace” trilogy – by Alicia G. Ruggieri
(read my interview with author Alicia Ruggieri HERE) 



In 1935, when the bank calls in her mortgage, Sarah Picoletti – now a penniless widow – finds herself and her children on the brink of homelessness. Sick at heart, she plans to beg her brother in New Jersey to take her family in.
Then Doctor Samuel Giorgi knocks on her door. Godly and well-off, Sam seems to have put the careless ways of his youth behind him, and he also appears to have one desire: to make Sarah his wife, two decades after he broke their engagement.
However, nothing prepares Sarah for the storm that breaks once she makes her decision. Everywhere she turns, the errors of her former choices confront her, insisting on her inferiority and the irreparable brokenness of her past. Sarah begins to wonder if Christ really can bring true redemption or if He is limited by her frailty.
Meanwhile, her daughter Grace faces new challenges in her own life. When her relationship with Paulie changes unexpectedly, Grace realizes that she must make a decision with the potential to alter both of their futures.

Compassionate and intensely poignant, All Our Empty Places paints the portrait of a mother and daughter with broken pasts, who dare to step into a future overflowing with the grace of the Cross.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alicia G. Ruggieri writes Christ-centered fiction that speaks of redemption. She received her B.A. in Communications and History from Rhode Island College and lives with her husband and their emotionally-disturbed pug on the New England coast.


My Review:
All Our Empty Places is the powerful, grace-saturated, gritty sequel to Alicia Ruggieri’s first novel in her A Time of Grace Trilogy, The Fragrance of Geraniums.

I remember reading The Fragrance of Geraniums, finishing it, and feeling so deeply and profoundly shaken and yet satisfied at the conclusion. I wondered what would become of Sarah, Grace’s mother, as well as Grace and Paulie.

Ruggieri’s second book, All Our Empty Places picks up the story where it left off in her first book. It is not a “happy ending” romance. It is a deep, poignant, look in to the heart and life of Sarah Picoletti, a woman who has been through the mill and back again, a woman who has put her faith in Christ but still holds onto “hang-ups” from her past, attitudes and memories that haunt her and seek to poison her future with their seeming power over her.

All through the book, the reader wonders, Will she be able to break free? Will the grace of Christ triumph? Ruggieri paints a beautiful picture of a broken woman—a picture which reaches out and speaks to the broken places in all of us, the places that we long and yearn for the love and grace of Christ to fill. Every woman who has experienced trials and difficulties can relate to Sarah’s struggle. Sarah’s husband, Sam Giorgi is a real-life representation of Christ. Their romance  and the strains that Sarah goes through in learning to trust in the love of her husband serves as a glorious allegory to the relationship between Christ and His church.

Meanwhile, the delightful friendship/romance between Sarah’s daughter, Grace, and Paulie continues to play out. I loved the strength of character that Grace exhibits as well as her reliance and submission to her Heavenly Father throughout the book. It is a wonderful example for young women who are seeking to honor the Lord in their romantic relationships and to place Him first in their lives. Where Sarah learns to hold on, Grace learns to let go. The twist at the end of the story involving Grace and Paulie was wholly unexpected , yet so, so intensely satisfying to the reader. And the result left me yearning to read the third book in order to find out what will happen.


I loved this book on so many different levels—the development of the characters, the unexpected and unpredictable plot twist and turns, the God-saturated and focused story-line that isn’t “preachy” but deeply ”real,” the beautiful, strong writing style that always draws me into Ruggieri’s books, and the lesson learned at the end of the novel—that His grace is sufficient in and through our weakness—and that when we are willing to let something go, that is when we truly possess it. Well-done, and I highly recommend this book for anyone who is seeking a deeper walk with Christ and a powerful, grace-filled romance.


AUTHOR LINKS:
Twitter: @aliciaruggieri


PURCHASE LINKS:
All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, Book 2) – http://amzn.com/B014JVJYCK
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, Book 1) – ON SALE for $0.99 through October 31, 2015 – http://amzn.com/B00P4PB7W6

THE GIVEAWAY:


One winner will receive – a signed softcover of All Our Empty Places; a mug with 2 Corinthians 12:9 inscribed on it; Caramel Apple Biscotti; and Harvest Spice Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate mix. (Open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.)



a Rafflecopter giveaway
You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysSo Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology ThursdaysChildren Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayEvery Day JesusCount My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridaySaturday Soiree Blog PartyTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific TuesdayRaRaLinkup

24 comments:

  1. What a great looking review! Thanks for the heads up about a book -- and an author -- I haven't seen before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Michele! Her books are beautiful and grace-filled; I love the way that Christ and His sufficiency in and through all things is woven into this particular book. I pray that you'll have a blessed week!

      Delete
  2. Enjoyed the review and the interview with Alicia. I have been blessed to have read and loved both of her books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, Ann! Thank you for stopping by; the Lord bless you!

      Delete
  3. Great review, Rebekah! My kind of read - I just purchased the first book and look forward to reading it. Have a blessed week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is wonderful, June! I think that you will really enjoy it. Have a blessed week, also! :-)

      Delete
  4. Bekki, I am so excited to read All Our Empty Places! As I shared with your sister, in the weeks after finishing The Fragrance of Geraniums, I would find myself "wondering" about the characters and "how they were doing". I have NEVER had this happen after reading a book. The characters truly grabbed hold of my heart. I can't wait to see where Alicia takes them in this next book and look forward to being edified in the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes; they grabbed hold of my heart too, Karen; I know what you mean! I am excited for the third book, too! The Lord bless you, Karen. :-)

      Delete
  5. This book looks great, I have never heard of it but I definitely want to check my library for it now. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Anastasia; thanks for stopping by! :-)

      Delete
  6. Sounds so good...you're giving me great reading inspiration! Thanks for sharing with us at #RaRaLinkup today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Angela; God bless you! :-)

      Delete
  7. So many of us love to read and there are SO many books out there. Thank you for letting us know about this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Jen! Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

      Delete
  8. Thanks for sharing this positive review! I am always looking for a good book (a worthwhile read). This series does sound great!

    I came over on Grace and Truth, and I'm glad to find your site.

    Hope you have a blessed day and a good weekend~
    Melanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Melanie; I'm glad that you stopped by! The Lord bless you!

      Delete
  9. I'm always looking for new books, and this one sounds very good. Thanks for sharing. Linking with you at Grace and Truth. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Ginger! The Lord bless you! :-)

      Delete
  10. This sounds like a great book! Thank you for the beautiful review! I even entered the giveaway :-) I'm so glad we were neighbors at #Grace&Truth!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's wonderful, Lori! I'm glad that you entered the giveaway! The Lord bless you! :-)

      Delete
  11. Oh, this is a beautiful giveaway. Good luck to those who entered. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad that you stopped by, Lux; the Lord bless you!

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the review. Can't wait to pick up a copy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! It is a wonderful book! :-)

      Delete